No complaints of sexual exploitation found in other PH missionsBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs has not encountered allegations of sexual transgressions by personnel of Philippine embassies in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong following consultations with the country’s ambassadors there in the wake of charges of sexual exploitation of distressed Filipina workers by embassy personnel in some countries in the Middle East.
“We just concluded a fact-finding consultation with the heads of posts of Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. We are happy that these three posts do not have reports of sex-related offenses committed by post personnel against wards in their respective Filipino Workers Resource Centers,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a statement Friday afternoon.
He said Philippine shelters in these countries “appear to be adequately protective of wards.”
On orders of Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, the DFA gathered envoys from the country’s missions in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong at the home office on Friday to find out if there were similar reports of sexual abuse of OFWs in these posts.
The consultations followed a similar session with 13 Philippine ambassadors to the Middle East and Africa last weekend, which was initiated following revelations of alleged “sexploitation” in certain OFW shelters .
“On the basis of the consultations that we had, we will be coming up with recommendations to be submitted to the President and DOLE on best policies and practices covering the management and operations” of the shelters, Hernandez said.
Akbayan Representative Walden Bello first bared alleged “institutionalized” sexual exploitation of distressed Filipino workers in shelters in Jordan, Kuwait and Syria almost two weeks ago, prompting an investigation by the DFA and DOLE.
No formal complainants have surfaced so far from these shelters, but officials implicated in the operations of alleged prostitution rings have been recalled for investigation.
Three women have accused a Philippine labor official in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, of soliciting sex from them and pimping them to clients in exchange for plane tickets home.